What is Constructive Dismissal?


Constructive dismissal, also known as constructive termination, takes place when employees resign as a result of their employer creating a hostile work environment. The rules and legal consequences of ‘constructive dismissal’ differ from country to country. While it is difficult to find out when and where the term originated from, constructive dismissal has been a part of employment law in countries such as the US, Canada and the UK.

When employers put unreasonable pressure on their employees, driving them to the edge and forcing them to resign, it is said to be a case of constructive dismissal. The Constructive Dismissal employers’ behaviour causes a breach of contract.

The employees usually decide to leave their jobs specifically because of the behaviour of their boss, and not because they are unsatisfied by other elements of their job.


Many actions by employers can force employees to quit their jobs, such as bullying, imposition of unreasonable demands, continued or sudden act of sexual harassment, and violence.

In such situations, the concerned employees, who are at the receiving end, are left with no option but to leave in order to safeguard their dignity.


The employees have to be very clear about the reason for their resignation. They need to prove that there was a breach of contract. This allows them the option of seeking a legal course of action against the individual and the company, and claim damages.

One of the biggest disadvantages that employees face in such situations is that sometimes it becomes very difficult to prove their accusations against the employer in a court of law. As a result, the employer may be given the benefit of doubt in the case, and end up facing no serious repercussions for
his/her actions.

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